Back in April of 2011, a friend of mine and I decided to see Insidious. Arriving on time, the lines were short and per usual the service at the box office was friendly and smooth. Upon entering the theater, we chose our spot and eventually began to watch the previews. During the preview for the upcoming feature film Priest, the cotton burned and the theater acted promptly in order to for us to view our feature presentation. The theater even provided the entire viewing audience with a pass for the inconvenience.
Once the film was finally able to start, I have to admit there was something enjoyable about the faded smoke rising from the straight font. However, I still find the music playing while the title Insidious graced the screen rather laughable. This still reminds me of the effects used in opening credits during the seventies. This made me wonder if these credits were supposed to induce fear and if that were the case what this meant for the film. Thankfully, Insidious had some tricks up its sleeve that was not all jump scares.
The first thing to remember is that the film starts off simple enough with the tricks and thrills of demonic figures that only the mother, Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne), is witness to. One of the best parts is the fact that the film did not have gore for gore’s sake. I say this because to this day, a lot of people might still be deterred to see the film based on the fact Insidious is produced from the same people who brought us the Saw franchise (2004-2010).
If you still have not had the pleasure of viewing this film you are missing out on a truly unique horror film. In a lot of ways Insidious is a mixture of Paranormal Activity (2007, released 2009) and Dead Silence (2007). Stylistically the film is more like Dead Silence and plot wise the film is more of a slow burn like Paranormal Activity.
Another key point is that the characters are believable. Granted, Rose Byrne steals the show as the scared to death mother of three, struggling to have time to herself while figuring out what is wrong with her son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins). Her husband, Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), comes off rather selfish in many ways after you realize what the wife is going through on a daily basis.
And as the film progressed, despite the fact that some of the intense moments were told by the soundtrack, there were still moments that were truly frightened. The way the graphics depicted the demons that are shown were not corny nor cheesy, but downright creepy. Despite the being a grown woman and knowing that the creepy old lady was just make-up, her image will haunt me for years to come. One will not be able to look into dark spaces the same way as before after viewing this film. I still cannot.
Nevertheless, the film’s ending seemed painfully predictable. From the moment audiences discover that one of the characters in the film shares an ability with Dalton, viewers can easily put the puzzle pieces together and figure out the film’s ending. This is not to say the way they chose to end the movie was not creepy or boring, but merely predictable. However, the ending created the perfect set up for the sequel, which ties everything together creating one of my favorite horror franchises to date.